Inside UBC's planned "nano-units"

Would you live in a nano unit?

If you don’t already know by now, UBC plans to develop a new residence building by 2019 that will feature relatively affordable (sub-$700) “micro-apartments” for students. Today, a full-sized model replica of one of these apartments has been put up next to CiTR at the Nest, and everyone is welcome to take a look inside. Given that we can totally relate to students desperately scavenging money, we opted to go check it out ourselves. 

Upon entering, you’ll find something akin to the ordinary student residence room, but now with a kitchen and bathroom crammed into it. Also included is a transformable bed that can be pushed up onto the wall, revealing a study desk hidden away underneath. Last but not least, a random lonely plastic chair tucked between the kitchen counter and the window. In other words, it’s your dank dorm room now upgraded into a Norwegian prison cell.

All of this will be inside a space about the size of approximately 140 square feet, which is equivalent to:

  • 9.3 bathroom stalls
  • 1.2 Hummer H2 SUVs
  • 3.1 Smart Cars
  • 1.86 minimum-sized single occupancy Canadian prison cells
  • Almost an average parking stall in Vancouver
  • 3.3 king-sized beds

This all sounds like a claustrophobic nightmare, but admittedly, the entire model looks sharp and orderly, as do its furnishings. Though, if UBC Student Housing really wanted to be accurate, a number of other things should also be featured, like the expired sushi dishes you forgot on the desk under the bed, three weeks’ worth of unattended dirty laundry, countless empty Red Bull cans and you, sitting on that small plastic chair as you contemplate your academic-life mistakes.